The Best Scuba Diving in Rio
Scuba diving is the ultimate way to discover the Atlantic ocean of the Brazilian coast. Spend some time below the surface to explore wildlife and shipwrecks, and take a break from the baking heat.
Our Carioca insider team has curated a list of their favourite scuba spots, to help you avoid the tourist crowds, and make the most of your underwater experience.
Archipelago of the Cagarras Islands
This Archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, above five kilometres south of Ipanema, was named a natural monument in 2010. Its islands are conservation and marine protection zones.
The monument holds seven islands and cliffs:
Laje da Cagarra, Cagarra, Cub da Cagarra, Palmas, Praça Onze, Ilha Comprida and Matias.
The marine life there is diversified with the presence of various species of fish, crustaceans, corals, and sponges making the Cagarras archipelago one of the best places to practice diving on the Atlantic coast.
Dive into the waters in our sporty Copacabana Trunks in Aqua & Blue to discover the ancient wrecks and caves that make the location even more exciting. In the islands there are dive points for all abilities, from beginners to technicians, thanks to the topographical variation of the seabed. The experience is as exciting as it is risky: the depth here varies between 10 and 50 meters depending on the location, so be prepared.
Located in Urca, the central part of Rio de Janeiro, this beach is ideal for night-time dives. Our perfectly fitted Urca Tailored Swim Shorts were designed in honour of this exciting area of Rio. The water temperature varies between 18oC and 24oC, and you can find anemones, octopuses, and a wide variety of fish and marine life.
The visibility varies according to the tide change, due to the proximity to Guanabara Bay, but it’s usually from 2m to 8m and the depth varies between 2m and 10m.
On Recreio beach, located in the West of Rio, there is a point called Laje do Recreio, suitable for diving. This slab is an extensive formation of stones at an average depth of 7m, with several octopuses, fish, and other marine animals. Another must-see is the shipwreck of the Workman, an English freighter that sank there in 1912. The waters rinsing Recreio shores are exclusively bright and clear, resembling our Noronha Baby & Water Blue print designed for clear blue swims! Most divers who visit the site choose to snorkel, but it is also possible to scuba dive if sea conditions are favourable, without any changeable weather forecast.
Angra dos Reis
The bay of Angra dos Reis boasts 2000 beaches – some deserted – and almost 400 islands protected by the Restinga da Marambaia.
Some of the main dive sites in Angra Bay:
– Island of Pigs – with super clear water, it is great for snorkelling. Depths extend to 8 metres.
– Imboassica Island, Queimadas Islands and Laje Zatim – These areas have a lot of corals, sponges, and small fish. The depth is between 4 and 12 metres.
– Laje Preta – This dive point is at the coast, with darker and cooler waters, but they’re inhabited by different marine life. The depth varies between 4 and 12 metres.
– Pinguino Wreck – The 70-metre Panamanian boat, sunk in 1967, remains intact and divers are permitted to visit its compartments. The depth varies between 15 and 20 metres.
The Bay of Ilha Grande has 365 islands of all sizes, including Grande and Jipoia, two of the largest on the Brazilian coast. The area is filled with heavenly spots and perfect for exploring the teeming marine life. The waters, which are generally calm and transparent, harbour fish, corals and sea horses. The average annual water temperature is 22 degrees and the visibility is 10 metres. The depths of the Bay of Ilha Grande do not exceed 25 metres.
The best places to practice diving in Ilha Grande:
Laje Branca – This stone, in the middle of the bay between Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande, has one of the best dives on the inside, the so-called “Canal”.
Cave of Acaiá – This cave has a depth of 6 metres and makes an incredible practise ground for technical diving.
Parcel of the Colonel – With caves and arches between 6 and 25 metres deep, another hotspot for technical diving aficionados.
Botinas Island – Ideal for beginners, with snorkelling and free diving, it is 2 to 10 meters deep.
Dentist’s Beach – One of the most visited beaches on the Ilha Grande, beautiful and perfect for free diving.
Discover the irreplaceable swimwear style for either sunbathing or diving – Angra Sports Swim Shorts in Water Blue Tonal. Named after the iconic Angra dos Reis, the signature house print is a manifestation of the incredible untouched nature surrounding the region.
Arraial do Cabo
This city, located 180km from Rio de Janeiro, has many diving spots. In the water of Arraial do Cabo, there are rare conditions which makes it a perfect place for marine life. The resurgence phenomenon causes very deep waters to reach the surface, and their current carries an enormous amount of food through the transparent blue waters. All this makes it possible to find a great diversity of marine fauna, such as fish, turtles, stingrays, and at certain times of the year, whales and dolphins. Choose the ultimate swimwear choice for an ultimate diving experience – legendary Copacabana Sports Swim Shorts in Blue Tonal from our latest Underwater Collection.
The water temperature varies according to the time of year (between 9 and 22 degrees) and the depth varies from 5 to 40 metres. Some diving points in the city are: Ensenada, Praia dos Anjos, Pontal do Atalaia Beach, Teixerinha, Ponta do Meio, Ponta da Jararaca and Saco do Cherne.